Packers potential playoff opponent: A closer look at the Rams

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers have some recent history with the Los Angeles Rams.

Green Bay ended Los Angeles’ season at the divisional round stage a year ago. The Rams were aggressive in the offseason, the trade for Matthew Stafford one of the biggest moves by any team.

It didn’t change anything when the two met at Lambeau Field in the regular season, but could the Rams present a challenge for Matt LaFleur’s team in the playoffs?

How the Packers can meet the Rams

For the Rams to set up a rematch with the Packers, all three division winners will need to advance in the wild-card round. Los Angeles is the fourth seed, lower than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (two) and Dallas Cowboys (three), so they would move on to Green Bay.

How they got here

Another playoff berth never looked in doubt for the Rams. They started the regular season strong, winning seven of their opening eight games. They also won five of their final six. The only tough part of the season was a three-game losing run in November, which included a defeat at Lambeau Field. But the Rams bounced back and enter the playoffs with one of the best records in football.

Player to worry about

Aaron Donald.

The Packers have played the Rams twice over the past year. In those games, Donald has only made one QB hit with zero sacks. But he’s a game-changer and one of the best defensive players the NFL has ever seen.

Donald can take over a game. The interior of the Packers’ offensive line would need to be ready for a huge challenge up against the six-time first-team All-Pro.

How Packers can win

The Packers set the blueprint for beating the Rams earlier in the season.

Green Bay’s offense was phenomenal with Aaron Rodgers putting in one his best performances of the year. He threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns but, importantly, the Packers dictated the tempo of the game on offense. Green Bay dominated time of possession, holding the ball for almost twice as long as Los Angeles, while also finding the end zone three times offensively.

The defense allowed plenty of yards, but crucially forced three turnovers including a Rasul Douglas pick-six. The Packers dominated the game with offense, but the defense stepped up with three big turnovers.

To beat the Rams again, the way to do it remains the same — control the game on offense and win the turnover battle.